Who Did The Narrator Meet At The Tabard Inn?

Updated 30 September, 2024
At the beginning of The Canterbury Tales, the narrator meets 31 pilgrims in the Tabard Inn. The pilgrims are getting ready for their trip to the wonderful place of St. Becket in Canterbury.
Detailed answer:

Geoffrey Chauser’s Canterbury Tales tell the story of 31 pilgrims travelling to Canterbury.
In one of the London taverns of that time, the Tabard Inn, the narrator meets a motley company of pilgrims gathered on their way to the relics of St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, kept in Canterbury Cathedral. The narrator, Chauser himself, is excited for the pilgrimage to Canterbury by saying how he has never seen a group like this before. “And, as it happens, a thought has just occurred To please you, costing nothing, on my word”.
The Host takes the time to think of a plan that will please the pilgrims and will keep them entertained. “Indeed, there’s little pleasure for your bones Riding along and all as dumb as stones”. A simile is used to show that the plan is meant to be enjoyable and not boring for the pilgrims. “You mean to while the time in tales and fun.” The Host further explains his plan and states that each pilgrim will tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back. He also reveals that he will be the judge and those who don’t follow will “pay for what we spend upon the way”. The “man whose story is best told … shall be given a supper, paid by all”.
Overall, this plan excites the pilgrims as they want to win the contest and be fed a free dinner. The Host awakes and gathers the rest of the pilgrims to start their pilgrimage. The Host states the, “man who draws the shortest cut shall start” . The group shall decide who is the first to tell a tale on their journey. Finally, the Knight ends up telling the first tale.

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